Thursday, 20 July 2017

Even as the Rs 50,000-crore textile industry in the diamond city of Surat limps back to life after a month-long stir against the goods and services tax (GST), Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s comments have not gone down well with traders and weavers alike. 

Claiming that the central government, through the Ministry of Finance, has done a volte-face, textile traders and weavers maintained the government would have to adhere to their demands, else they would “reply through votes" if things don’t turn around at the GST Council meeting on August 5.

 “If the government has the right to tax, we have the right to vote. If our demands are not met, we will see inspector raj returning to the textile industry," said Gurumukh Kungwani, president of Millennium Market Traders Association, one of the leading textile traders’ body in Surat.

 On Tuesday, Jaitley had ruled out zero GST rates on fabrics, which currently attract five per cent, citing the move would break the input tax credit chain for the domestic industry. “It is not correct to say the textiles sector was never taxed in independent India. 

In fact, during 2003-04, the textiles sector was subject to central excise duty," Jaitley had said, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
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